Wyoming DOT recognizes two contractors for road pavement smoothness

April 21, 2020

The department analyzes data to determine the IRI value for the smoothness award

The Wyoming DOT (WYDOT) recently recognized two contractors for completing state road surfacing projects that provided "an exceptionally smooth ride."

WYDOT recognized Simon Contractors, of Cheyenne, with the Smoothest Pavement with Wearing Course award for a project on I-80 near Cheyenne. The department also recognized Riverside Contracting Inc., of Montana, with the Smoothest Pavement without Wearing Course award for a project on U.S. 14 near Dayton.

“We are pleased to recognize these two companies for the fine paving work they did on those projects,” Shelby Carlson, WYDOT chief engineer, said in a statement. “These two companies continually produce an outstanding product for the people of Wyoming and we are grateful. Projects like these enable us to provide an effective and high quality transportation system for the people of Wyoming and to benefit Wyoming’s economy.”

WYDOT officials evaluate smoothness based on calculations that use an International Roughness Index (IRI) determined by driving roads with vehicles equipped with a device that measures road surfaces. WYDOT analyzes the data to determine the IRI value for the smoothness award. 

The award for Smoothest Pavement with Wearing Course looks at the overall surface ride and how smooth it is for vehicles. That category has a wearing course on the surface, which is typically about 3/4 in. thick and is applied as a top layer to provide water drainage.

The I-80 project Simon Contractors worked on was 10 miles in the westbound lane between Cheyenne and Pine Bluffs. Crews performed a 2-in. mill and 3-in. hot plant mix with a wearing course.

The award for Smoothest Pavement without a Wearing Course also takes into account the overall surface ride. But that award does not have the additional wearing course layer. Those types of roads are typically seen on lower traffic volume roads and have a chip seal course to provide the friction surface during water runoff.

The U.S. 14 project Riverside Contracting worked on was an overlay on 5 miles between Dayton and Ranchester. Crews performed a 2-in. mill and 2-in. hot plant mix overlay.